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March Date Thursday September 28, 2006 March Day 104

Good Day to all March to Yorktown Followers and Supporters ~

A day of rest and David sleeps in. Il n'y a pas de reveille aujourd'hui. The morning is cool, breezy and clear and the early risers David, Rose and Damon walk from the farm to the local laundress so that David may have his now less-than-white regimental tended to...and to take advantage of the local breakfast tavern run by Mr.McDonald.

Mike sleeps in and actually smiles as he emerges from his tent - a wonderful night's rest is proclaimed!! It looks good on him. We are visited by Alma Withers, whom we missed on yesterday's arrival at Ferry Farm. She is most cordial, thanks us for our visit, and invites us to return anytime.

The day is ours and it is spent in various pursuits...visiting Fredericksburg Battlefield, the archeological dig here on Ferry Farm grounds, sitting in the sun working on communications and enjoying the well-tended gardens at the back of the visitor center. Here, Rose is fascinated by seeing cotton plants for the first time. They are waist-high, thickly-leaved reddish-green with golfball sized pods which burst into four sections of white fluffy elongated cotton "balls". One cannot help but think of the many souls who have spent hours at the back-breaking work of picking cotton.

David and Damon enjoy a very close game of checkers in the yard - seated at a painted barrel board and using pieces of sliced corn cob, and David retrieves his laundered regimental coat, pleased that he will present himself as the well-dressed French soldier at tonight's festivities.

Lyn Padgett of the Rappahannock Colonial Heritage Society has organized a bit of pomp and ceremony specifically for America's March To Yorktown and we prepare to put our best foot forward...literally. The group gathers on the far side of Chatham Bridge and are met by Jay Harrison, Director of Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, who is in full regimental with musket, and lovely Terry Rece. We march across the bridge and are joined by many members of the Rappahannock and Fredericksburg societies, all in their period best, and continue to the park/garden area adjacent to the historic Lewis store. A large dining fly has been set protecting a table laden with home-cooked foods, and a large cast iron pot steams over an open fire filled with soup...its aroma filling the evening air.

The marchers are welcomed by Mayor Tom Tomzak, Rappahannock Heritage Society President Sandra Piercy, Lyn Padgett and Jay Harrison. Mike introduces the marchers and we express our gratitude at our hosts' generosity. Ah...we feast again. The evening sky has grown progressively darker and the rains begin just as the dessert course is begun. There is a scramble to grab food, baskets and dishes, and everyone files into Lewis store to continue the festivities and talk of local history. Erick Nason of the 2nd South Carolina regiment vows to visit us at Belvedere tomorrow evening. Thanks to Damon who retrieved our carriage from the far side of the bridge earlier, we are spared the walk back in the rain. We return to Ferry Farm and enjoy the night's severe rain, thunder and lightening from the safety of the camp, thankful that the men are not currently marching. We hope for clear skies in the morning. A demain.

Avec amour,